Saturday, October 26, 2013

Review: The Race Before Us

Bruce Matson is a Richmond lawyer who ran a marathon in college but is now 49, overweight, and out of shape. He's also a church regular who is questioning his faith — "Do I really believe what I recite in the Nicene and Apostles' Creeds on Sundays?" He skillfully weaves together his twin struggles to get in both physical and spiritual shape. He took the spiritual quest seriously, wrestling with major philosophical and historical approaches to Christianity and finally realizes that, ultimately, though the intellectual assent is important, the key is trust. One of the things I liked about the book is that I know the places he ran (though, even so, I thought a couple of his descriptions of runs were a bit too detailed). I have also asked myself some of the same questions about faith.

He alternates chapters devoted primarily to running with those devoted primarily to his search for meaning in his faith. Matson deals with some questions and issues of faith that require some deep thought — a lot of Christian apologetics in this book. It was challenging and an excellent refresher on some of my seminary courses from 30+ years ago.

Some good appendices:
  • Top Ten Arguments for the Existence of the God of the Bible — He touches on and explains most of these in the text of the book, but this is a good summary list. (Christian apologetics) Throughout the book, though, he emphasizes how much he was aware that Christian faith or trust was not solely dependent on the truth of these arguments.
  • Bibliography — If one wants to explore any of the topics, these are all good sources. Matson does not just include those that support his final conclusion on faith.

(Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free from the author in exchange for a review. However, I was free to write the review I thought the book deserved. I expect no further personal gain.)
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